Russell Kane review – hyperactive tales of fatherhood and hangovers
Marlowe theatre, CanterburyThe Essex comic’s new dad routine wins no prizes for originality, but there is still more material in two hours than many fit into a decadeFour years ago, a broody Russell Kane raised an imaginary child on stage. Now, he can decommission his imagination: the motormou... [Read More]
They cannot be serious: why comics tend to make bad baddies
One-time Blackadder buffoon Hugh Laurie was on devilish form in The Night Manager but it’s a rare comedian who plays a convincing screen villainThe BBC’s adaptation of John le Carré’s The Night Manager finished on Sunday night – perhaps you noticed? It united the natio... [Read More]
Murray Hill: 'I'm more than a drag king. Why can't you just call me a comedian?'
Known for his self-deprecating humor and stage presence, Hill has become a symbol of the growing transgender performance scene once just known as dragThe businessman from Connecticut seemed game for a different night of entertainment – a variety show of sorts. He took his seat at Joe’s P... [Read More]
The Painkiller review – a farce without force
Garrick, LondonKenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon labour for laughs as hotel guests thrown together by circumstanceGradually the stage is picking to pieces accepted ideas about the 1960s. Martin McDonagh’s comic, lacerating Hangmen showed how riddled with misogyny and racism that supposedly libera... [Read More]
Noel Fielding: back from The Mighty Boosh to take America's comedy scene
Fielding found mainstream fame in the UK as part of surrealist duo The Mighty Boosh, but didn’t crack the US. Will he find a home with Tim and Eric fans?Noel Fielding is exhausted and he’s only one day into the start of the North American tour. The tour started in Boston, a city he has n... [Read More]
Should comedians stand up for a political party?
Politics is fertile ground for comics, but there are pitfalls to jumping on particular bandwagons – not least when it questions their loyalty to the punchlineNot that long ago, Donald Trump was gifted with all the publicity and cachet that comes from a hosting slot on Saturday Night Live. &ldq... [Read More]
Mike Birbiglia review – 'clean' comic gets smutty to affirm importance of gags
Lynn Redgrave Theater, New YorkInspired by the Charlie Hebdo attack, the reliably funny comic’s show advocates the necessity of humor – especially when it offendsEver since Mike Birbiglia debuted his one-man show Sleepwalk With Me in 2008, he’s been considered a storyteller as much... [Read More]
Dane Baptiste: 'If we lived in an equal society, I wouldn't need to do comedy'
Dane Baptiste packed in his dead-end job to change the world. Britain’s answer to Chris Rock talks about his new sitcom Sunny D – and laughing at his own jokesSpeak to some black standups and they’ll say their skin colour is incidental. That, to put it mildly, is not Dane Baptiste&... [Read More]
Alexei Sayle webchat – as it happened
The explosive comedian answered your questions about Liverpool, Ryk Mayall and Enlightenment ideals 2.05pm GMTThanks everyone! If you want more Alexei, he’ll be appearing at two Guardian events, What Did The 80s Do For Us? on 18 May, and Guardian Live as part of the Brighton Festival on 27 May... [Read More]
'What's your name and what do you do?' Standups need better banter
The token opening of a comedy set – even in its postmodern guise – is becoming tired and uninspired. All hail the trad crowd-work of masters like Al MurrayIt’s an odd artform, standup – not least in its relationship to spontaneity. More so than other performing arts, it&rsquo... [Read More]